Regency Bridge facts for kids
The Regency Bridge, locally known as the "Swinging Bridge," is a one-lane suspension bridge over the Colorado River in Texas. It is located at the intersection of Mills County Road 433 and San Saba County Road 137, both gravel roads, near a small community called Regency. The bridge straddles the Colorado River between Mills and San Saba counties.
The main span is 343 feet long, but counting the approach spans, engineers list the bridge’s overall length at 403 feet (122.8 meters). The wooden deck of the bridge is 16 feet across. It was built in 1939, with most of the work being done by hand. An earlier bridge constructed in 1903 collapsed under the weight of a herd of cattle, and a later bridge built in 1936 washed away in a flood. The Regency Bridge was restored by James Harris in 1997, with then-Governor Bush attending the re-dedication service. This was a major event for the community of around 25 people.
Local teenagers accidentally set the wood surface on fire on December 29, 2003, burning a hole in some planks and causing $20,000 in damage. The bridge was repaired and reopened to traffic in early 2005. After closing in late 2014, the bridge is once again open to traffic. As of Sept 2020 the bridge is closed to automobile traffic due to "recent structural damage", but you can still walk across it. It is expected to reopen once the damage is determined/repaired.
In 2005, the Regency Bridge became the last suspension bridge in Texas open to automobile traffic.
A nearby historical marker, located on the southeast side of the intersection of FM 574 and Mills County Road 433 (which is just east of the intersection of FM 45 and FM 574) reads:
This area's first Colorado River bridge was at Regency, on Mills-San Saba County line. Built 1903, it served ranchers and farmers for going to market, but fell in 1924, killing a boy, a horse, and some cattle. Its successor was demolished by a 1936 flood. With 90 per cent of the work done by hand labor, the Regency Suspension Bridge was erected in 1939. It became the pride of the locality, and youths gathered there in the 1940s to picnic, dance, and sing. Bypassed by paved farm roads, it now (1976) survives as one of the last suspension bridges in Texas.